Tuesday 6 September 2016

Freedom pass scandal - Barnet Council only compensates 51 victims of the cock up

Earlier this year, this blog exposed the Barnet Council Freedom Pass scandal. A young disabled man was told that his freedom pass was no longer valid as he tried to board a bus.

At first it wasn't clear whether this was an unfortunate one off error or something more nasty. Within hours of our blog being published, the whole sorry saga began to emerge. My fellow Barnet blogger Mrs Angry soon exposed the failings of the council. It became apparent that they had broken the law and this had affected hundreds of local disabled people.

Eventually the council were forced to backtrack. Barnet Labour reports that compensation has now been given. So what about the young man who bravely contacted me in the first place? How has he been treated. This young man is autistic and has issues dealing with stressful and confrontational situations (such as getting kicked off a bus unexpectedly). 

I was shocked to get the following message from him.

'So 51 disabled residents receive compensation not the rest of other victims (like me). '

It appears that of the hundreds affected, only 51 have been compensated. Am I the only person in Barnet who thinks this is unfair? If an organisation caused you stress and public humiliation, wouldn't you expect some form of compensation, especially if the organisation had not acted in accordance with the law. In the scheme of things, compensation for all victims is a trivial amount (far less than the sums paid to the councillors who failed to ensure Capita did their job properly). So come on Barnet and do the decent thing.

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